Monday, March 31, 2008



The research paper highlights the problems and prospects while preparing case studies. It has come out with the right tools and techniques and the methodology to be adopted for making effective and efficient case studies. It defined clearly about the case study, importance and significance and basic ingredients for preparing case studies. The process of preparation of the case study is dwelt at length. At the end it concluded that preparation of a case study is a skill not a talent. The research paper is very useful for corporates as well as for academicians and especially for the authors and creators of the case studies.

KEY WORDS: Introduction, What is Case Study? Importance of Case Studies, Essential Elements for Case Study, How to Prepare A Case Study? Conclusion.

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“A case study can be described as the study of an object, person or situation in its natural habitat in an uncontrolled and observational manner”.

When any management graduate undertakes his course; he will frequently come across with various case studies during his academic curriculum. There is no management course without referring to case studies. Research reveals that students may work with as many as 800 case studies during a two year MBA program. It indicates the importance and significance attached to case studies. Apart from Management, the medicine and other courses also club case studies as the part of the academic curriculum. In this context, it is essential to explain the meaning and definition of a case study.


Case study is the study of a particular situation or case or a problem in a given scenario thoroughly after weighing the pros and cons, taking a practically feasible decision in the best interests for effective implementation. Case studies are essential for MBA so that the students can step into the shoes of the given case study, understand the implications and the complications involved and can have the feeling that of a trouble shooter. To put in a nut shell, case study is a simulation of a management situation that helps the management graduates to react in a real situation and helps them by providing right direction towards right decision making and problem solving.

The technical students like engineering graduates have both theory and laboratory activities. The faculty teaches the theory in the class room and then takes them to laboratory to try and test what was taught in the class. The students will be in a position to correlate the theoretical concepts and aspects with that of the practical experiments in the laboratory. As a result, the gap between learning and doing is minimized and also students can grasp, understand and memorize quickly. And while doing practical experiments in the laboratory they may have a few doubts and the same can be clarified, verified and authenticated.

The case studies are also just like laboratory activities. Since for management education the students can not be taken to industry for each and every theoretical concept the case studies will prove handy for them. When the management concepts are explained then the case studies of the companies are explained so that students in the class room can feel like in a simulated situation and they will be able to understand the concepts effectively and efficiently.


People, in general, love to listen stories, examples, case studies and anecdotes. No teaching will be complete without the same. And teaching for management graduates is no exception.

Case studies will arouse the interest amongst the students. Every class should have at least one case study to make the teaching process interesting and entertaining. The students, for a while, get into the shoes of the key player in the case study and think and act like him.

There are institutions which are specializing in case studies alone and they have acquired prominence globally. ICFAI has number of case studies under its reservoir and its case studies are accepted and adopted all over the world especially USA, Canada, UK and other European countries. There is specialization in every discipline in these days. IBSCDC which is the acronym for Icfai Business School Case Development Centre was set up in 2003 and it has developed over 2000 world class case studies. Its case studies have been featured in more than 30 international textbooks on Management. It has sold more than 1, 30,000 copies to various global B-schools and universities. It is the second largest producer of case studies in the world and the biggest producer of case studies in Asia. Under the visionary leadership of Dr.Nagendra V Chowdary, Dean of IBSCDC, who has passion for excellence, it is set to conquer the globe with innovative case studies. IBSCDC believes in quality research and catering quality case studies. It coined a new tool ‘Structured Assignment’ for the first time in the world. Now days, the world looks at the innovative tools and techniques. Innovation is the key to survival in this cut throat competitive world.


A few characteristics and qualifications are essential for preparing case studies. The person should have passion to become the creator of case studies. He needs to involve and immerse himself in the case scenario thoroughly so as to have the feel of the real situation. Then only the best can be expected. The author should have flair for writing the case studies. He should be a voracious reader of various books from the discipline in which he is preparing. For instance, the writer of the case studies of HR should have read various books related to Human Resources functional area in order to do justification. Having industrial experience in the same discipline will help to create effective case studies. Imagination works out to some extent but having worked in the same field will bring out the best as the author knows the practical problems.

Lot of patience is essential to create the stuff. Ability to analyze the problems and prospects of the case and logical correlation of various activities in a given situation will prove to be highly beneficial. To put it in a nut shell, the author should have analytical bent of mind, problems solving skills and decision making skills for preparing case studies.


“Case study is a description of an actual administrative solution involving a decision to be made or a problem to be solved. It can be a real situation that actually happened just as described, or portions have been disguised for reasons of privacy”.

Usually the case study can be brief or extensive running from 2 to 30 pages. As such there is no specific rule that the content should be limited or extended up to certain levels. Read the entire text thoroughly once and jot down the key points and concepts and also the important issues involved in it in a separate sheet. Look for 4 W’s in the case such as what is the problem? where is the problem? when the problem started? And why the problem occurred? Relate and correlate all the factors and forces together to have better quick grasp about the case. Also read between the lines keenly. Apply your common sense and make comparative study of the situation. Observe closely if any statistical data is given. Look at the cause and effect relation with in the case study. At times the causes are hidden and it requires extraordinary ability to unearth the hidden causes. It needs probing temperament and correlate the same with the effects. This will help to get at the root of the problem for generating bags of solutions. During this process, the visualization technique is highly useful in order to correlate various things mentally. If time permits read and reread the text more times for getting at the crux of the case. Repeat the process till you get perfection.

Create number of multiple solutions to a given problem. Choose the best that suits the present position and adopt. It requires intuition and gut feeling to shortlist the best logical, analytical and appropriate decision. Don’t repeat what is already stated in the case.

During the case study analysis and preparation the academician with industrial exposure can deliver better results than mere academician without any industrial experience. The academicians always look at the case purely from their vast theoretical perspective as they are not exposed to industry. Of course, they honed their skills based on reading plenty of case studies. But that will not be sufficient to create effective case studies. On the other hand, the academician who hailed from industrial or from corporate background look at the case from multiple perspectives. They might have faced the same scenario as stated in the case study in their practical life. Therefore, they have ready made and tailor made answers and more solutions to each problem. Case study analysis requires critical and creative thinking. It also requires empathy i.e. stepping into the shoes of a situation and generating multiple solutions.


Case Study is the heart of the management curriculum. Creating case study is a skill not a talent. If the case study writer has creative mind, passion, nose for writing, eye for detail, analytical bent of mind, problem solving skills, decision making skills and the ability to see the big picture and the capability to think out of the box, the best and the most memorable case studies can be crafted.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008



The article starts with simple jargon related to stock market. It is exclusively meant for starters who do not know fundamentals of stock market investment. What are the reasons for low participation in equity market in India are highlighted. The power of Systemic Investment Plan, the role of Mutual Funds and the potential in the High Net worth Individuals are attempted effectively. Risk diversification and tips for effective investment are dwelt at length so as to encourage new investors in this area. At the end, the article concluded that any one can become a billionaire like Mr. Warren Buffet if there is passion, patience, preservation to reach the top slot.

Key words: Technical jargon, Indian Stock market Scenario, Demat Format, Systematic Investment Plan, Mutual Funds, High Net worth Individuals, Risk diversification, Tips for investment and Conclusion.


“Every fall has a rise and every rise has a fall”.

The globe has turned out to be a materialitic and no one can survive without money. Money has taken precedence over other things in life. Although every one knows and admits that money is not everything but yet money is essential to survive in this world. But how can we make money? Can every one make money? Of course, if there is a mindset to make money. The performance of any individual depends on his mindset. If there is passion to make or mint money and also if one knows the secrets and strategies of generating more money, then it is very much possible. Above all if an individual has firm mindset to make the same.

One of the fastest ways to gain or lose money is by way of share market trading. Indian economy is doing well due to the privatization, liberalization and globalization. The share market is also bullish with minor hiccups here and there. Stock market has given excellent returns and presently is in the down turn due to the fear of global recession. Indian market is cut out for long term players and still there is a huge potential for growth and appreciation.

This script provides basic guidelines for new players to know the fundamental concepts related to stock market. Below are the related jargons.


‘Long selling’ is the position where a trader has stocks and sells and in short it is called as selling. ‘Short selling’ is a position where the trader has no stocks but sells with an intention to buy the stocks at a lower price later on. It is not advisable to go for short selling as the stock markets are totally unpredictable.

One might question why and how the fluctuation takes place in prices of scrips. For instance, if buyers are more and the sellers are less then the stock price goes up depending upon the orders of the buyers. Similarly if the sellers are more and buyers are less in a given situation the stock price falls. When the market trend is towards downward it is known as bearish market and on the other hand if the market trend is towards upward it is known as bullish market.

While trading if the stocks are bought and sold with in the same trading day it is known as intra trading and it is also known as ‘day trading’ as the trading is executed with in the same day. On the other hand, if the scrips are bought on a specific day and sold on some other day, the delivery of the stocks has to be taken and it is known as ‘inter day trading’.

The scrip is traded from stock exchanges via share brokers or institutional brokers and there are many such exchanges. BSE and NSE is the acronym for Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange and each has a specific quantity of scrips in its fold. People say that the BSE or NSE has gone up and that happens when the majority of the scirips go up and collectively it is said that the sensex has gone up. Sensex is nothing but the sensitivity index. It is not mandatory that the all the scrips in the BSE or NSE should move up so as to conclude that the sensex has moved up. The majority scrips with market capitalization will tip the scales of the index.

When an individual acquires shares from the company directly then the transaction can be called as ‘primary market’ source. If the scrips are bought from the exchange through broker then the transaction can be called as ‘secondary market’. When a company issues shares directly to the public through an offer for the first time, then it is known as Initial Public Offer (IPO). IPO’s and if is second time or any other times it is called Follow on Public Offer – FPO and another concept is NFO – New Fund Offer. There are also concepts like rights issue and bonus issue. In rights issue the company offers shares to the existing shareholders at a price and against the existing shares and in bonus issue the company offers the shares free of cost based on the number of shares the person holds.

All the companies offer shares with a face value of Rs 1 or 2 or 5 or 10/- etc with a premium price with a lower and upper price band for bidding. It all depends on the investor whether to accept at the lower or any other price band or may leave it at the discretion of the company by stating ‘cut off’ price. In such a situation whatever the price the company fixes to issue shares becomes the final price.


India has the second largest population in the world and it has very low investor literacy rate. In western countries people’s participation in stock market is far higher. Of course, there are number of reasons towards the same. India is a country of savers and Indians taking risk in the share market is one of the lowest in the world. People feel safe and comfortable by depositing their money in Fixed Deposits, Banks, and Postal savings. Besides, Indians have great taste towards yellow metal – Gold. They also invest in lands, buildings and real estate. In western countries there are social security measures like old age pensions, unemployment allowance and other insurance. The Govt. takes care of the welfare of their people. That is the reason why there is a strong credit card culture there. People spend and borrow. All these measures have made the people living in developed countries to take high risks. Therefore, we can’t expect Indian population to behave and invest like them.


In the past, the scrips were held in paper format and in physical format. There were too many loopholes and things were getting delayed. Brokers and intermediatories manipulated the transactions and ultimately the retail investors burnt their fingers. Conversion from floor based trading to screen based trading has enhanced transparency levels in the business transactions. In demat format the securities are held in electronic form and the charges for the same are nominal and minimal.

For opening demat account it is always advisable to approach institutional brokers who offer better services promptly and there is total transparency in the dealings. The brokerage charges can be negotiated and it all depends on the volume and the frequency of the business transactions.


SIP is an excellent tool to build up a capital base in the long term to meet your financial goals and objectives. It also creates a disciplined mindset and gives the benefit of cost averaging. It is necessary to invest regularly into specific stocks so as to average and leverage. If the scrip falls then by adopting this tool, the scrip can be acquired at a lower rate and if the scrip goes up then also you can average it at a little lower level than the real present price. SIP leaves no room for regrets. Many Mutual Funds schemes are encouraging and offering with a provision to invest through SIP by post dated cheque instruments.


When investors do not know how to invest in the stock market directly and if they want to learn the tricks of the trade it is better to invest in Mutual Funds. These are run by professional people who have flair for investment. The Mutual Funds collect the funds from the public and make a corpus and then they invest into various securities and instruments. They do lot of research, visit the companies, gather the information and know the upcoming companies and sectors that have huge potential for growth and appreciation. Every now and then they change their strategies to stay invested in to the best stocks. At times, they get the internal information of the companies much faster and act accordingly. The Mutual Funds follow Net Asset Value (NAV) where it is converted into units and it is very easy to trade and liquidate also. There are tax savings schemes in the Mutual Fund so that the investors will get the tax benefits. But there will be lock in period and during which the units can not be sold. To conclude, investing in Mutual Funds is a safe bet for new investors.


There is a huge potential in the area of HNIs. The elite investors have no time to manage their investments and they hire financial consultants to take care of their investments. The bosses find inadequate time due to their hectic work schedules and as a result they hand over the responsibility to the trusted and professional financial consultants. These consultants keep the HNIs informed about the developments in their portfolios.


“Wide diversification is only required when investors do not understand what they are doing”, quoted Warren Buffet.

Risk is directly proportional to return. Higher the risk higher the return and lower the risk lower the risk. The risk is divided into low, medium and high risk. Taking risk depends on the risk appetite of the individual. And again taking risk depends on the age of the individual. The age is inversely proportional to risk. Lower the age, higher the risk an individual can take and vice versa.

It is essential to invest money in various scrips. And always invest in the scrips from different sectors that have a huge potential for growth. Observe the day to day life and find out what sectors are progressing and prospering and what sectors may flourish in the years to come and then invest your money in the best companies of different sectors so that if a particular sector did not do well then other sector will support you thereby having average, healthy and sustained growth.


“Of the billionaires I have known, money just brings out the basic traits in them. If they were jerks before they had money, they are simply jerks with a billion dollars”, quoted Warren Buffet.

• Look at the fundamentals of the company and check its previous track record.
• Find out the management of the company whether it is professionally run or not?
• What are the plans, prospects and expansions it is undertaking.
• Does the company have good will and brand image in the corporate world?
• Are there any related and unrelated diversifications, acquisitions or mergers etc?
• Closely observe the promoter holding and track record of its dividend, EPS, P/E ratio.
• Does the company have any other sister concern companies? Is the company financial sound or not?
• Look at both the fundamental analysis and technical analysis and check for its consistency and complementary.
• Read various business magazines, journals and newspaper before investing.
• From Mutual Fund Fact sheet find out the investment pattern and you can learn the percentage of the investment and the companies the Mutual Funds have invested.
• Pick up the scrips that have consistent growth and appreciation as well as giving handsome returns.
• Avoid penny stocks.
• Don’t overtrade as overtrading kills. Ultimately it is the broker who gets commissions against each transaction.
• Don’t speculate but invest.
• Never borrow and invest. Cut the cloth as per the coat.
• Treat volatility as your friend not as a foe.
• Always look at the margin of safety.
• Above all, read between the lines.


Investing in equity market is both an art and science. The management institutes in India have started academic courses related to stock markets. It indicates the significance and importance attached to equity investments. Investing in stock market requires a lot of knowledge, inner information, patience and perseverance. An individual must be willing to take a risk and should have his own capital. He should also keep himself updated with the latest happenings about the company in which he has invested. If all the conditions are met, making money in the stock market is easy and any one can become a billionaire. Globally renowned investor and the richest man in the world Mr. Warren Buffet has not come to number one slot in overnight. It took many years of efforts, financial discipline, patience, perseverance and business acumen to come to this stage. Anything and everything is possible in the world if there is passion, patience and perseverance to reach to the top slot.




The research paper focuses on the meaning of business etiquette and what constitutes business etiquette. It elaborately explained about a confident ‘Hand shake’, ‘Dress code’, ‘Business cards’ and ‘Handling people’ at the work place. It dwelt at length about ‘Interview Etiquette’, ‘Mobile Etiquette’, ‘Telephone Etiquette’, ‘Office Etiquette’, ‘Dining Etiquette’, ‘Email Etiquette’ and ‘International Business Etiquette’. It clearly explained about the differences in etiquettes but put entire efforts to bring about the commonalities and laid stress on the basic etiquette which is universally accepted and adopted. At the end it concluded that business etiquette is essential for survival and success at the corporate world.

Key Words: Introduction, Hand shake, Interview Etiquette, Mobile Etiquette, Telephone Etiquette, Office Etiquette, Dress Code, Business Card, Dining Etiquette, Handling People, International Business Etiquette, Email Etiquette and Conclusion.



“Your manners are always under examination, and by committees little suspected, awarding or denying you very high prizes when you least think of it”, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

When a person gets into employment for the first time he gets confused with the corporate culture and finds it very difficult to learn the corporate etiquette which is otherwise also known as business etiquette. There will be vast cultural gaps from the background from where the individual has come and that of the organization he enters. He finds it very difficult to get along with new cultures, customs, norms and rules. There would certainly be a gap. It takes certain time to get adjusted and adapted to the corporate culture and learn the etiquette.

Every one knows the meaning of etiquette. Etiquette is nothing but manners to be followed in a given cultural environment. Every culture has its own etiquette. But overall the etiquette is universal with certain characteristics and qualifications that run across all people like a common thread. Business etiquette is also an etiquette that has to be adopted in every business keeping ethics and integrity in view. It varies from culture to culture and from country to country and from industry to industry. All the differences are only superficial in nature with the commonalities of basic business etiquette being at the core level.

Etiquettes are of different types. It is desirable to focus on a few basic etiquettes which collectively constitute the corporate etiquette. They are Hand shake, Interview etiquette, Mobile etiquette, Telephone etiquette, Office etiquette, Dress code, Giving business card, Dining etiquette, Handling people, International business etiquette, Email etiquette, etc.,


When two men meet each other they shake their hands as a symbol and sign of meeting. There is a right manner in handshake. There has to be firm handshake that represents the confidence level of the persons. If a person presses down the palm of the other person and shakes his hand it indicates that the person is dominant in nature. On the other hand, if the person allows his own palm pressed downwards and lets the other person’s palm upwards it indicates the submissive style of the person. In the third scenario if both the persons keep their palms perpendicular to the ground and if both persons plays neutral neither being in the dominant level nor in the submissive level then it is the right method of handshake and it indicates win-win or assertive handshake. A person’s nature can be easily judged by the way he shakes his hand with others. It becomes the core part of any corporate culture.


When going for an interview, the door is to be knocked, and after seeking the permission the person should enter the interview room. The person should greet the interview panel member like ‘Good morning Sir/Sirs’ depending upon the time of interview and wait for the permission to be seated. If there is a woman Interviewing Officer(IO) it is etiquette to greet her first followed by male members as it is part of the Indian culture to respect women.

After getting the permission to sit, the person should sit with straight posture at the back with his back touching the chair and without dragging the chair or dragging the feet. No attempts should be made either to lean forward or to lean too much backward or to sit in totally at an ease position. The person should sit straight and be alert by keeping both the legs together with both feet touching on the ground.

When the question is posed, the person should fully wait till the completion of the sentence by the IO and then reply. No attempts should be made to interrupt or interfere with the conversation of IO. After listening carefully the person should analyze, process with in his mind and then should reply appropriately with clear cut thoughts. In case if there are any differences of opinion, the same should be handled with tact and diplomacy. In case if there is a need to clarify anything, the same can be asked with a request to speak the same. After the completion of the interview, thank them and exit the room smartly without any unnecessary noise.


Now days, mobiles have become both a boon and bane. Whenever there is an engagement or any hectic or important activities are going on, the mobile should be kept in a silent mode. It is not proper to talk over the phone when important discussion or meeting is in progress. After the completion of the meeting the calls can be attended as unattended calls are reflected in the handset. These days, marketing calls do come frequently and it disturbs the mood and also the precious time. These are known as unsolicited calls. The best thing is to cut short such calls by saying, ‘I will get back to you’ or ‘Can I call you back?’


It is more or less like mobile etiquette only. The caller has to identify himself first, and then should confirm whether he is looking for the concerned person and then should start conversation. Even if you are interrupted, exercise patience to the caller and respond. Radiate energy and if it is not possible, at least exercise warmth so that the caller feels comfortable and convenient to communicate. Do not keep the caller on hold without asking ‘Say like, may I put you on a hold for a moment?’ and then put the caller on hold till you connect the right person or to give the correct information. Personalize the conversation to make it polite and presentable. If the concerned person is not there and if the caller provides the information to pass on, then note down on a paper or a note pad, sign and make it accessible and reachable to the concerned person. Small things make major differences in telephone etiquette. Ensure that your voice mail system is working properly and is not full of messages to prevent incoming calls.


When you visit to somebody’s office, do no roam around as though it is your own office. When you are a stranger to a place maintain and behave like a visitor or as a guest not like a host. Do not disturb the receptionist with too many queries. When you are asked to work in your cubicle stick to that only and do not encroach into others’ cubicles.

You can call person by name at the corporate world but politely. There is no need to call ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’ frequently. The body language must be positive and assertive it should neither be aggressive nor submissive. While addressing a woman if it is not clear whether she is married or unmarried, you can use Ms as that can convey politely for both married and unmarried woman.

Personal space from person to person needs to be maintained properly. It is known as proxemics. You should not behave with unknown people by being too close by maintaining intimate distance as it creates discomfort for others.


For men the shirt should be in light color with a tie. There should not be any cabbage socks. The socks need to be changed regularly. Avoid wearing white socks. The body can be applied with light perfume. It is essential to wear tie for formal meetings. A few companies have separate and specific dress code to its employees on specific days. There is a traditional formula for male attire. BBTTSS is the acronym for Boot and Belt which must be of the same color, Tie and Trouser should preferably match with each other and Shirt and Socks should match with each other. There is no hard and fast rule to accept this formula but it all depends on the situation and occasion. Ultimately the dress code should be pleasing, neat and clean and presentable.

Dress code for women is a very complicated one. It differs from region to region and from country to country based on their cultural background as well as their tastes and temperaments. They should not dress like a Christmas tree. There should not be any hanky panky costumes. Don’t decorate with excessive jewellery or ornaments. The dress should match as per the corporate culture and values of the organization. The clothes must be positive and presentable and not of tight fittings, no obscene clothes or revealing clothes etc.


When business card is given, it must be taken with the right hand in India. It must be read with details like name, designation and other details and then it should be kept in a visiting card holder. Always give fresh cards and do not give the cards that look dirty or old or faded cards.


• Wait for your host to ask you to sit or else sit after the host sits.
• Keep solids of the food on the left and the liquids on the right side.
• Keep the napkin folded towards you on your lap.
• If you have any food allergies tell the same in advance or to the server and if it is already served leave it on the plate.
• Don’t fill your plate with entire food at one go. Fill little by little as you consume.
• If you have any doubts regarding the starting of eating food or about the chronological order of eating food, observe your host closely and follow.
• At the time of eating, keep the knife across the top of your plate when you are eating, blade facing towards you.
• It is formal to leave some food on the plate at the end.
• If you are a slow eater and the host has completed eating food, you leave the food and catch up with the host.
• If the food is not good and if the host enquires how is the food, say politely, “Fine, thank you”.
• Once the meal is finished your silverware should be parallel to each other in the ten and four O clock position with handles at 4.00 and tops of the utensils at 10.00. The knife blade points towards you.
• The amount is usually paid by the host.
• Thank the host for your meal at the end.


Every business person should learn basic etiquette to deal with people. Of course, there are number of written and unwritten rules and guidelines and when in doubt stick to the basic and follow.

• Build good relations with peers and subordinates.
• Never differentiate people based on designations and rank.
• Memorize the names of the people. If not, then correlate the name of the person with that of your previous acquaintances with in your mind for effective retention. Make a good practice of collecting the names of the people with their phone numbers, date of birth, family details. This will help you to build strong relations with them.
• Learn to appreciate people sincerely. If it is essential to criticize, do not attack the person rather attack his behavior as it takes the matter away from person-centric to problem-centric or behavior-centric.
• Never surprise your boss. Always keep him informed about the work related activities and try to be in the good books of your boss.


With the rapid growing technology the globe has become smaller. As a result, there are plenty of opportunities since the communication has become easier. Employers began thinking broadly and are trying to set up their ventures at the global level. Along with that the employees have opportunities to work with the people across the globe.

It is necessary to know the basics of international etiquette such as the multicultural issues, different time zones, different workings hours, holiday patterns, table manner etc., Mr. Laxmi Niwas Mittal the global steel czar has clearly mentioned about the significance and importance of multicultural issues so as to succeed in the international business.


Paper correspondence is gradually losing its relevance. In every business there is growing significance attached to Email and it is necessary to dwell at length about email etiquette in this context.

The subject matter should be simple, specific, short and identify yourself. It should not be like compound sentences. The receiver should be in a position to identify its source and the objective behind it. In the ‘To’ address column put the main addressee and if the same is to be informed to other addresses you can add those emails in the ‘CC’ column. It is usually considered unethical to use the BCC column. If the mail is not to be known to the other addressees and in extreme cases you can use ‘BCC’.

Personalize the mail to create bonding with the reader. Dear Sir/Madam, followed by the name of the person with designation as it impresses the reader for the significance you have accorded to the designation and also for having made it personal.

Follow proper alignment and the margin on the left side. Write the contents in simple, straight and short manner. The contents must be concise, crisp and clear. Put across all the points. At the end, you may conclude with ‘Regards’, or ‘Best regards’, or ‘With regards’, or ‘Best wishes’ followed by your signature. Before sending check for grammar, syntax, sentence format, punctuation. Read and reread the email before hitting the ‘send’ button as it becomes an evidence for future records.

While replying to official mails do not check ‘Reply all’ button as the confidential information, if any, will be known to all. Never type the contents in capital letters as that indicates that you are shouting at others. And also avoid using lower case. As far as possible the business letter should not last more than a page as it is an official document. Do not visit pornographic sites as every company has an internal scanning system to check the same. And ultimately you will be in deep hot water. Try to use soft, polite and neutral words and avoid using unparliamentary language.


Etiquette and business etiquette is essential to survive and succeed both at the personal and professional level. It has paramount significance and importance at the corporate world either to make or break the business deals. Therefore, it is mandatory to stick to the basics of all etiquettes to become a successful professional. To conclude, the business etiquette is essential from peon to principal and from employee to employer.


Thursday, March 20, 2008


Now days, the majority of the employees don’t like to be supervised or managed or monitored closely. They would like to have greater degree of freedom and independence while working. Unfortunately a few managers closely and keenly monitor their employees thereby creating several problems for employees. There are number of reasons for micromanaging employees such as lack of trust on their employees and lack of confidence on the competency on their employees. At times bosses want to have total control over their subordinates because basically they have fear of losing their own jobs. All these things lead to high attrition levels in various organizations.

According to the available statistical information 60 to 70 per cent of the employees leave their jobs due to the excessive bossism. At times the bossism may be because of the micromanagement. In this context, it is desirable to briefly explain about micromanagement.

Micromanagement is the concept whereby the subordinates are continuously, closely and keenly observed and monitored by the boss. It has both pros and cons and unfortunately the cons outnumber the pros.

The merits of micromanagement are that the employee is constantly corrected, guided, advised, counseled and mentored by the boss. Micromanagement is good if the employee is new to the organization. It is like an infant being cared and nurtured by his mother. But over a period of time, the employee feels confident and comfortable in handling and executing the tasks of his own and would be comfortable in being independent. And if the process of micromanagement persists the employee gets discomfort and feels irritated just as in the case of an adult who is mature but still treated by his mother as still infant.

The boss who believes in excessive micromanagement may not survive, sustain and succeed in the long run. It is basically because his mind is focused to a limited area. On the other hand if the boss stops micromanaging them he tends to develop the delegative skills thereby developing leadership skills amongst his subordinates. And also the boss can also grow with in the hierarchy rapidly. Besides it also creates mutual trust between bosses and subordinates. As it is well known the trust begets trust. Given a free hand, the subordinates would experiment various things by trail and error method and learn many lessons either from their successes or from failures thus becoming leaders and mentors for their subordinates.

Micromanagement is a matter of concern as well as a challenge in the present competitive world. Due to the rising aspirations and expectations from the clients and customers the competition has become highly fierce and cut-throat and managers find less time in micromanaging their subordinates.

Micromanagement is essential if there is poor performance from the subordinates and if there is need for spoon feeding. In such a scenario it is advisable to upgrade the skills and abilities of the employees and also it is necessary to equip them with requisite tools and techniques to stand on their feet and perform better.

The low morale among the employees and low production and productivity, performance and attrition are the result of micromanagement. Therefore, micromanagement is more of a bane than a boon. To sum up, what is required for the successful functioning of an organization is not micromanagement but macro management.




The article focuses on listening by starting with role playing by two persons in three stages and justifies what is the best way of listening. The different types of listeners and the modes of listening are highlighted. It has come out with secrets and strategies to listening for both students as well as professionals. What is Time Lag and how to overcome creatively is mentioned. The crucial role of speaker is compared to that of a player of a musical instrument and the responsibility he has towards effective and attentive listening. The tips, tools and techniques are stated for effective and improved listening. At the end the article concluded that listening is not inborn trait but a skill that can be acquired by continuous practice and training.

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"Listening is a powerful means of communication and influences to talk well", John Marshall.

Role playing of conversation between two persons is as follows:

Stage One: Both persons begin talking continuously unmindful of the attitude and attention of the other person.
Stage Two: One person begins talking and the other person does not pay any attention towards him.
Stage Three: One person begins talking and the other person pays attention to him curiously and nods his head with reciprocal response.

Which is the correct stage for effective listening? It is very obvious that in the role playing of stage three, one person is identified as the speaker and the other person is identified as the listener as there is synchronization in effective conversation between the both. And the process is known as effective listening.

Listening is subset of any communication. Every person should know the art of listening so as to make the communication process complete and meaningful. Listening is a conscious effort while hearing is an unconscious one. Listening as a skill is vital for the development of any personality. The success rate of an individual depends on the efficiency and efficacy of listening skills one employs in his personal and professional life.

Every human being spends considerable amount of time to listening everyday. But how far the listening is qualitative is a moot point. Few people hear for a long time and at the same time they think about something else in their mind. Can we call it as a listening skill? Of course, not.


There are four kinds of listeners. The first one is a poor listener who daydreams elsewhere when the speaker is delivering something. He only opens his ears. The second one is an average listener who opens up his ears and mind and listens. This category of listeners is okay to certain extent and they remain as the huge chunk of listeners. The third one is a good listener who not only opens his ears and his mind but also maintains an eye contact with the speaker. This segment of listeners can pick up the tools and trends much faster and grow accordingly. And the fourth one is a great listener who not only opens up his ears, mind, eyes and but also his heart to receive the speaker wholeheartedly. This section of listeners is a rare breed and they create new tools and techniques in any area because of their excellence in listening. Such great listeners create, recreate, innovate and exnovate in their lives. And last but not the least is the excellent listener who not only opens his ears, mind, eyes, heart but also his soul to listen to the speaker. Such segments of listeners are the rarest of the rare breeds to be found in the world.


There are three basic listening modes such as competitive or combative listening, passive or attentive listening and active or reflective listening.

In competitive or combative listening, the listener is unmindful of the contents delivered by the speaker and is continuously on toes to open floor to offer his viewpoints. In stead of listening he waits impatiently for his opportunity to strike like a combatant and thrusts his viewpoint.

In passive or attentive listening, the listener is a cool headed. He listens to everything patiently and passively to the speaker and takes the things for granted without verifying for facts or figures. Rather the listener lacks his independent thinking and approach towards the contents.

In active or reflective listening, the listener attends actively and carefully towards the speaker, he paraphrases and summarizes what the speaker says, processes and forms his own viewpoint and reciprocates responsibly. This is the best and the most effective listening skills amongst the three modes mentioned above.


The skills need to be cultivated and inculcated right from the childhood itself. This is the right age to instill and educate amongst the children about the importance and impact of this skill. The students can improve themselves by various means such as

• Note taking is an excellent tool where the concentration on the speaker can be sustained for a longer time. It is also effective for those students who have short memory span.
• Constantly questioning the speaker as and when if there are any doubts or queries will enhance the skills.
• The students can practice the power of paraphrasing. Conversion from the language of the speaker to the listener and restating in the own words of the listener is known as paraphrasing.
• Nodding the head affirmatively as and when needed towards the speaker can also enhance this skill.
• At times the close friends in the class will divert or disturb the listener. So it is advisable to keep away from close friends in the class to maintain concentration in the class towards the speaker.
• Doing meditation or yoga daily will improve concentration powers and will become a great boon towards attentive listening.
• Students need to demonstrate passion to listen and learn. If such zeal and enthusiasm exists then it is easy to develop this skill.
• Students should shed the 'I know everything' attitude.
• Exhibiting the right postures like sitting straight, leaning forward will convey positive cues to the speaker.
• If there is respect towards the teacher and interest towards the topic then students can develop interest to listen.

If the above tips, tools and techniques are adhered to at the early stage of learning itself, the students will gain complete knowledge about the subjects which in turn will become the foundation for their further higher studies. Besides, there will be least preparation at home and the same time so saved can be utilized for other creative pursuits. Effective listening saves lot of time and energy and furthers for all-round development of the personality.


Employees spend most of the day at the work place itself. They spend considerable degree of their time in communication and in interpersonal relations. Listening plays a crucial role in their business communication. Failure to do so will result in communication gap, misunderstandings and professional setbacks. People tend to develop ill feelings due to the barriers and filters in communication. Barriers are physical and physiological by nature and are external. Where as the filters is internal and is related to emotions and psychological. If some one says, 'I don't like him' then it becomes psychological filter. However it is easier to remove barriers than filters.


A speaker normally delivers approx. 150 words per minute in average whereas the listener has the capacity for receiving 500 words per minute. Basically the human mind is very powerful device and even if we work 24 hours a day still we don't utilize the full human potential. Man can reach to stars in fraction of seconds mentally although he is physically in the same place. This is an indication the fastness and the potentiality of human mind. The gap between the speaking rate of the speaker and the thinking speed of the listener is known as 'Time Lag'. In this context, it is worthwhile to quote, "We were given two ears but only one mouth, because listening is twice as hard as talking".

How to fill this critical gap? The listener should keep his concentration towards the speaker. He should also mentally summarize the contents. He can tactfully engage this gap to question the speaker related to the concerned topic. He should stop suspending his judgment. He should stick to attending skills and paraphrase what the speaker delivers.


The role of the speaker is; in fact, more important than that of the listener as it is he who influences the listener to pay attention towards the content. Speaker should arouse interest in the subject and should make it lively and lovely to catch the attention of the listener. He can adopt tools and techniques like posing open ended questions like 'Tell me what you understood from my lecture?' rather than close ended questions like 'Is it clear?’ 'Did you understand?’ 'Is it alright?' etc., By shooting the open ended questions the listener will be forced to pay more attention towards the speaker. And the speaker will also get accurate feedback from the listener.

If the listener is compared with a musical instrument then the speaker can be compared with the player of the instrument. As it is quite obvious that everything depends on the player of the instrument whether to produce joyful or sorrow music. Similarly if the speaker is powerful and the speech is mesmerizing then the listener can be held for a longer time.

The speaker can adopt various tools like posing positive questions frequently during the listening process such as 'Am I right?’ 'Am I clear?’ 'Is it alright?' and suddenly changing his tack to negative questions like 'Am I wrong?' and 'Am I not clear?' will test the pulse of the listeners. Usually what is expected in the given close-ended question is 'yes' and when the listener says 'no' to the negative questions then it is clear that the listeners are attentive in their approach. The speaker can also apply such tricks and tools related to role playing to make the listening process interesting and entertaining.


• Avoid preconceived notions about the speaker and about the topic.
• Don't jump into conclusions.
• Maintain eye contact with the speaker.
• Lean forward and exhibit curiosity by projecting positive body language.
• Allow the speaker to complete his speech, fully process the same in your mind coolly and respond accordingly.
• Do focus on contents not on delivery.
• Be empathetic and non-judgmental.
• Be motivated to listen and be prepared to listen.
• Be objective and specific and clear.
• Utilize feedback up to the hilt.
• Be alert to all cues.
• Don't let your mind drift.
• Ask relevant questions and encourage the speaker to deliver effectively.
• Summarize topic so as to minimize the speaking time and thinking speed gap.
• Don't get preoccupied with other activities or worries.


You can't clap with one hand. You need to have two hands to clap so as to produce the desired effects. Listening becomes effective and efficient when there is cooperation and coordination between the speaker and the listener. Conscious efforts are essential from both the speaker and the listener to make listening pleasant and memorable. All efforts must be put to avoid barriers and filters between the speaker and the listener. Adopting right tools and techniques on the part of the speaker and the listener will lead to productive and fruitful listening.


You can take the horse up to the pond but you can't force to drink. You can't thrust upon the listener. The listener should have passion to listen, respect towards the speaker, interest towards the topic so as to make the listening process as interesting, encouraging and enlightening one. Listening skill is not inborn, but can be inculcated and cultivated by regular practice and training.




The research paper briefly talks about mergers and take overs at the corporate world. The merits of mergers and take overs are highlighted. It has taken the case study of Mr.Laxmi Niwas Mittal, the global steel czar and has focussed the bottlenecks involved in acquisition of a Luxembourg based Arcelor steel company. It highlighted the importance of multi-cultural skills for the global business leaders. It focused at the India’s Competitive Advantages. At the end it has summed up with the strengths of Indian economy and appealed all Indians to stay in India itself because the returns outnumber the investments by being in India.


“When a piece of a log is subjected to severe pressure becomes charcoal. And if it is subjected to extreme pressure results in a diamond. Entrepreneurs are made from men like that”.


Now days, there is too much talk of Indian companies taking over the companies in abroad. The Tata Steel’s take over of Corus has hit the headlines. It was a very bold initiative by Ratan Tata. There was a talk of paying too much price for the acquisition of Corus by the critics. Over all it has demonstrated and displayed the leadership capabilities of Indian business leaders.

Once upon a time when Lord Swaraj Paul made an attempt to take over an Indian company it was treated a hostile bid. It hit national headlines then. Many global MNCs used to take over Indian companies in the past. During the preliberalisation era foreign companies were on the offensive mode to take over Indian companies. In post liberalization, things have changed for better for the Indian industry. The Indian economy has looked up and is becoming a robust economy. As a result, the Indian industry changed its stance from being defensive to offensive.

In this context, let us briefly define what is ‘merger’ and ‘take over’. Merger refers to the process of two business units becoming one. On the other hand, take over refers to the process of taking over of one unit by a relatively stronger business unit.


Both merger and take over has many merits such as

• Competitive edge in the market. There is synergy in this and one plus one is three, six or just more than that. The raw material can be purchased in bulk quantity thereby reducing the cost of production. When the cost of the product or service is reduced, the company has better chances to have more profits as well as it can compete with others by slashing down the prices. In a nut shell, there is 'economies of scale' and increased ‘economic efficiency’.
• There is increase in market share in the same segment or sector thereby having better brand image and good will for the company.
• Increased benefits to the shareholder value. The benefits so gained are passed on to the shareholders thereby increasing their value.
• There could be tax benefits to the company in few cases.
• Consolidation in the sector wise and it eliminates the unhealthy small time players who are weak and can not survive in the business.
• Many other strategic advantages.


There is one global Indian who thrived in business with a strategy of series of acquisitions. He is none other than Mr.Laxmi Niwas Mittal. He was born in Sadulpur village, in the Churu district of Rajasthan, India. He graduated in Commerce from St.Xavier’s College in Kolkata, India. He was born in Steel family. Due to the differences with his father and brothers he left India and branched out by doing business independently across the seas. His first attempt was in Indonesia where he acquired a steel company which is related to wire rod manufacturing and turned around and succeeded. One success led to another success and he began acquiring steel plants all over the world. He can also be called “Take Over Tycoon”.

There are different ways and means by which any company can grow such as organic growth, mergers, strategic alliances and acquisitions. The secret to success for Mittal is series of acquisitions. He took over the companies at cheaper price which are not doing well and developed and turned around the same. Besides, he is an excellent negotiator, communicator and has deep understanding of cultural differences across the world. He always believed in his core strength ‘steel’ and never believed in unrelated diversification. As a result LN Mittal is called as a Steel Czar and as crowned as the “Carnegie of Steel”.

In Oct 2004 Mittal acquired International Steel Group of the US for $4.5 billion and became the largest steel producer in the world surpassing the global steel leader Arcelor. It indicates his business acumen, gut and intuition. And the mother of all acquisitions is the attempt to acquire Luxembourg-based Arcelor Steel. Mittal Steel made a daring $ 33 billion offer to take over its rival Arcelor. It was the boldest offer by any NRI to be made. There were lots of practical problems involved during acquisition. The French government went to the extent of protecting their company and adopted various techniques to prevent the acquisition.

Mr. Mittal pursued up to the hilt. He allayed the apprehensions of the employees and also that of shareholders of Arcelor and after prolonged battle the company was acquired and the transition has been made smooth. Ultimately he created 100 million tonne steel company. In one situation, the chopper in which LN Mittal was traveling towards Paris was force landed by telling them that the chopper entered the restricted area. The captain of the chopper was so upset that he resigned to avoid such pressures. Then again Arcelor tried to negotiate the deal with a Russian Steel giant Severstal who was one of its competitors in order to checkmate Mittal Steel. It was the toughest job for the Mr.Mittal to get the merger process evened out. Ultimately he succeeded in his bid and has become the President and CEO for Arcelor Mittal. “In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins not through strength but by perseverance”, quoted H.Jackson Brown, a noted Author.

Now LN Mittal is the only Indian who controls any particular sector i.e. Steel sector in the world. No other Indian in the earth controls any particular sector but it has been made possible only for Mr.Mittal because of his passion and perseverance to become number uno steel czar in the world.


The global scenario has changed drastically especially after the liberalization and privatization in India. The rapid growing technology has made the globe smaller. People began understanding, respecting and adopting the cultures of other countries. At the global level it is essential to focus on multicultural skills. The cultural gap amongst all the countries is getting narrowed down. And there are more efforts and avenues to grasp various cultural diversities across the world. Many companies across the world are coming to India and setting up their shops. It demonstrates and displays the strength of the Indian economy.

In the past we have seen global MNCs and now we are witnessing Indian MNCs shopping across the globe and acquiring number of strategically significant companies. In the past Indian companies fell prey to global predators and now there is a U turn where Indian companies have turned out to be predators.


India has much inherent strength as a result the Indian economy is all set to conquer the world. Presently Indian economy is impacted by US economy and whenever there are changes in the American economy the spill over is felt across Asian markets. And in the near future Indian economy will be independent and will be shielded from American economy. Below are the few competitive advantages India has:

• Gateway to international markets in SAARC countries.
• Well developed research and development (R&D) infrastructure.
• Largest resources of untapped natural resources.
• World’s largest democracy.
• Information technology base, in terms of both software and hardware.
• Technical and marketing expertise.
• English as the preferred business language.
• A vibrant capital market with 25 stock exchanges with over 9,000 listed companies.
• The largest supplier of cost-effective technical and non-technical manpower.
• Conducive environment for foreign investments by providing freedom of entry, investments, location, choice of technology and import/exports.
• A well-organized judicial system with a hierarchy of courts.
• Legal protection for intellectual property rights.
• A transparent approach for promoting domestic and foreign investment.
• Declining share of agriculture and allied industries in the GDP. The Economic Survey 2000-01 reveals that the contribution of services sector to the GDP is 40 per cent whereas agriculture and industry contribute 30 per cent.
• Increased investments in the priority and high growth sectors such as software, electronics, food processing, oil and gas, power, electronics and telecommunications, chemicals, electrical equipment, food processing etc.,
• A well organized banking system with a network of 63,000 branches supported by a number of national and state-level financial institutions.
• Offers a large market (middle class population of over 25 to 35 crore with increasing purchasing power).
• Current account convertibility and capital account convertibility for foreign investors.
• Increase in the number of joint ventures or wholly-owned subsidiaries most of the domestic companies consolidated around their area of core competence by typing up with foreign companies to acquire new technologies, management expertise and access to foreign markets.
• Deregulation of interest rates with a greater freedom to banks to assess credit requirements.
• Large and solid infrastructure throughout the country.
• Simplified systems for administration in government departments.
• Special investment and tax incentives for exports and certain sectors such as power, electronics and software.
• Lower tariffs for trade.
• A transparent approach for promoting domestic and foreign investment.
• Significantly large manufacturing capabilities through latest technologies.


The Indian economy is bullish with the GDP growing and inflation is within the healthy limits. Indians need not to go overseas to work. Rather they should work with in India itself so as to make Indian economy more vibrant. There are plenty of opportunities with in India itself. The foreign countries are getting more benefits by making use of Indian talent and expertise. What we get in return is far lesser than what we Indians invest in terms of abilities and capabilities to other countries. It is time Indians realized their inherent strengths and stayed in India itself.

India has the highest percentage of young productive population in the world where as the population of China is ageing. Since there is productive population and strong and huge reservoir of human resources, India is set to become a developed country much before 2020 and will become a Super Power in the world by 2050.

“The dream is not what you see in sleep. Dream is the thing which does not let you sleep”.

References: India’s Competitive Advantage- Source: India Business Opportunities, Investment and Technology Promotion Division (Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India) and Arthur Andersen, June 2000


Wednesday, March 5, 2008



It is always easy to talk about change. But when it comes to the implementation the bottlenecks would start. Change is always easier said than done. There are so many practical problems an individual encounters during the implementation and the transformation. The article took the case studies of a Rahul who transitioned himself from a village boy into a town boy. And also the article focused the case study of Vijay the way he handled change in his life by converting himself from regional attitude into a national mindset in defence. It highlighted various case studies like Indian Railways, Ashok Leyland, SAIL and GE and the changes they have brought about while turning around the companies. The change management tips will help to cope up change at ease. The article is beneficial to both individuals and institutions in managing the change effectively and efficiently.


What is change management? Turn around heroes, Case study of Vijay, Change Vs Zones, Tips for managing change and Conclusion.
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“Clinging to the past is the problem. Embracing change is the answer”, Gloria Steinem.

Rahul was born in a hamlet. He was brought up by his grandfather up to 5 years of age and then he joined with his parents who lived in a small town. He felt suffocated to get adjusted to the ambience of the town. He refused to stay in a town because he enjoyed the peaceful climate prevailing in the hamlet and also, of course, friends. Parents of Rahul understood the psyche of the child as he was resisting change. They provided emotional support and a sense of belongingness and allowed the child to have his own friends. Although he resisted the change initially but he gradually got tuned to the environment and joined in school and began his primary education. What led him to think going back to his hamlet initially? He resisted the change initially. For Rahul hamlet was a comfort zone but town became an effective zone. The journey from the comfort zone to effective zone is not easy but a Herculean task.

From the case study of Rahul it is apparent that everybody resists change initially. Why do people resist change? It is human nature to resist change. In this context, let us know what the meaning of change is and change management.


Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defined ‘Change is to make different in some particular’ and ‘manage is to handle or divert with a degree of skill or address’.

It has been aptly defined that “Change management system is a structured process that will cause proposed changes to be reviewed for technical and business readiness in a consistent manner that can be relaxed or tightened to adjust to business needs and experiences”.


Indian Railways was in losses and the present Union Railway Minister, Mr.Laloo Prasad Yadav brought many drastic and dramatic changes in order to bring it into profitability. Initially people resisted to his changes but ultimately yielded and as a result the Indian Railways was turned around by bringing it from red to black. Laloo Prasad Yadav demonstrated his leadership skills and pushed ahead despite opposition. And in the present budget the profitability has increased so high that such a profitability was not achieved by any Fortune 500 company.

Ashok Leyland which is a Hinduja Group was also in financial losses but Mr. R.Seshasayee, Managing Director, demonstrated and displayed his managerial competency and business acumen and embraced changes. He successfully turned around. If we look at the SAIL also Mr. Krishnamurthy played a crucial role and brought many drastic changes, cut down unwanted waste, pruned the system and SAIL is an excellent turn around success story in India.

Jack Welch, the former CEO of GE said, “Change before you have to”. When he took over GE it was in a financial fiasco. He removed many unproductive and incapable people and minimized the expenses. He was known as a ruthless firing master by his critics. He incurred the displeasure of many employees but he went ahead with his management style, brought out many changes and now he is one of the best managers in the world and one of the most successful turn around heroes in the world.


Vijay lived in a small town since his childhood. He completed his primary and secondary education. While doing his graduation he was much attracted to the defence life since he read number of books. He was passionate and motivated by the men in uniform. He was determined to join in defence. He enquired from various friends and family members and got the information related to it. He was not physically fit to join. So he began hitting gym so that he could come up to a healthy physical shape. He referred several competitive books to get through the written tests. He applied for joining Indian Air Force. After many stages he got through all the tests and he was called for training. First, he felt very happy as he was leaving his house to become an independent man and also he could help his family financially. He went for training. His problems began there. He found vast differences in cultures, tastes, temperaments, languages and statehood. He realized that he lived like a frog in the well until then. He was eager and happy to make new friends. But seeing all people from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, he found it very difficult to understand and get along.

There were so many misunderstandings and cross cultural talks among the trainees about the regions and languages. They used to argue that their language and their region was the best. The way people eat food, and the type of food different people eat made lot of difference. He could not cope up with the change. For many, change looks interesting to hear but to feel personally it required lot of efforts to get attuned to it. It is always easier said than done. There used to be clashes among the trainees because of many reasons especially related to regions and languages. The main reason was the lack of proper communication among themselves. People failed to communicate effectively and efficiently. There were so many barriers and filters. As a result there used to be misunderstandings and conflicts. Vijay thought of going back to his town where he could live with his parents. But he never liked to run back and wanted to face the difficulties squarely. He sticked to his decision and began facing and learning the things.

From the above case study it is apparent that it is easy to talk about change but very difficult to face it. For Vijay it was a challenge to meet various kinds of people from different states of India. He found to transform himself from regionalistic tendencies to nationalistic tendencies. Language was the barrier as he was not well versed with English and Hindi in order to communicate properly. The drastic change in food styles could not be digested by him. Although the training demanded more physical and mental activities it did not disturb him much because he was mentally prepared and knew everything before joining itself. Rather he developed his mindset before joining itself and that helped him not to worry about such strenuous activities. The sleeping patterns also disturbed him in a new place. Staying away from home was the first time for him and he developed homesickness. He used to be a home bird and always used to be with his mother. But sudden separation from mother brought emotional disturbances with in his personality. So he faced number of changes in his teenage itself and gradually overcame from cultural-social shocks. He displayed lot of gut feeling, boldness and maturity and continued to stay in defence and got into the national mainstream and developed a national attitude that he was an Indian first and Indian last.


Globally renowned Motivational guru, Zig Zigler Zig said, “97 per cent of the people live in comfort zone and only 3 per cent of the people live in effective zone”. The comfort zone is always peaceful, pleasant and is mostly filled with monotony. Human beings normally like the regularities of routine and the inevitabilities of monotony. They regularly bask in their glory with past achievements.

The majority of the human would like to grow and achieve success but they are not comfortable in taking risk. Basically because they have the fear of failure and fear of losing what they have. Since they do not take risk and play safe they remain comfortable in comfort zone. Then, how can they be successful in their endeavors?

The humans who live in effective zone would like challenges and they are willing to go extra mile. They constantly and continuously lead an adventurous life. They usually have high intuition and gut feeling. The people would like to test and touch their upper limits of potential. They break the boundaries and constantly thrive in reaching the top. They have passion and vision.

The road to travel in the effective zone is not easy as it requires lot of struggles and sacrifices. One has to encounter so many problems and hardships and at times without any certainty. But ultimately the one who realizes that change is a permanent phenomenon and puts in entire efforts would come out with flying colors.


• Never impose the change as anything imposed will be opposed. It has to be gradual and systematic.
• Look at the scenario from all angles. There are always positivities out of negativities. An optimist finds opportunities in threats where as the pessimist finds at threats from opportunities. Therefore, always try to be an optimist and grab the hidden opportunities.
• Avoid the mindset that change is always is risky. If there were no changes we would have not grown as a human civilization.
• Creation of psychological ambience is essential.
• Always present the clear and constructive picture for an effective change.
• Be prepared to get into effective zone round the clock because the present competitive world demands the same.
• Be confident and positive. Have gut feeling and believe in yourself.
• Try to develop flexibility and adaptability.
• Always consider others.
• Never resist change. We would like to change our clothes, foods, places and would like to have lot of variety in our life. Then why should we say ‘No’ to change? Are we hypocrites?
• Always look at the big picture as it would focus both problems and prospects which will help take the right decision towards change-centric.
• Don’t become a change-phobic person.
• Learn to live with the realities. It is vital to know that only change is constant in this world.
• Accept the changes wholeheartedly. Don’t treat it as an enemy rather treat it as a friend. You will know that there would be more opportunities in disguise.


The institutions are realizing the importance of change management. They are focusing the same so as to ensure smooth functioning and to enhance the productivity and performance. It helps in checking the rising attrition levels. All individuals should learn that change is essential and eternal. They should evolve, reinvent, remodel and redefine themselves so as to be successful in all spheres.



“Be simple and humble like a grass. When a wild storm attacks, all the big trees get uprooted but the simple grass survives. Be simple but powerful”.


The principal of an engineering college recommended the names of two faculty members for the 5 day Workshop on Soft Skills to be conducted by a reputed IT company. In fact, the company asked the institution to recommend three faculty members so that one would be short listed for the Workshop. The principal was compelled to recommend the third faculty member who was highly talented and qualified with two and half a decades of defence experience. All the three faculty members undertook online test conducted by the company and ultimately selected the third faculty and informed the same to him by email to attend the workshop.

Unfortunately, the principal never liked the short listed Faculty because he has filters and reservations with in his mind. He was basically partial, jealous with a negative attitude and approach. He requested the company to remove the short listed faculty so that he could send another inferior faculty who butters the principal. The company asked out of curiosity the reason behind the replacement of the Faculty. The principal replied that the short listed faculty was not good to be trained and incompetent to take up the course. The company vehemently asked, “Why did you recommend his name initially when you know that he was not competent and quickly added that the Faculty secured excellent rank and he was the only deserving candidate to be called for the workshop”. The principal fell into a trap. He found it very hard to defend himself and insisted for replacement of the Faculty. But the company was one of the leading IT companies and obliged the principal although they allowed the talented and short listed faculty to attend the course. It was an avoidable conflict but unfortunately the principal was noted for bossism and sadism and intolerant to accept the talented faculty. But the IT Company was a reputed one always believed in values and allowed both the faculty members to the workshop mainly to take the talented faculty as well as it pleased the adamant and biased principal.

The faculty realized that justice could not be delivered because the situation was like a fence eating the crop. Principal was stopping him to go by instructing the incompetent person to proceed for the workshop. He tried to approach the management who were supportive and fair but unfortunately the key persons were not available to resolve the conflict. The Faculty was bold, upright and forthright and he applied for Loss of Pay for the duration and attended the workshop.

The above case study of a principal who was partial, negative oriented with sadistic streaks. The conflict could have been averted if the Principal was fair and respected the judgment and selection of the company. Secondly things did not work out for the faculty to approach the higher authorities as time was short and the key heads were not available.

"It is not always who is right and who is wrong but what is right and what is wrong".


Conflict is like a battle which takes place between two or more people or groups when nobody is willing to accept from the others’ perspective. It may be due to the clash of interests or ambitions, or egos or due to various other reasons.

India had conflict with Pakistan in 1965 and 1971 due to Kashmir issue and had conflict with China in 1962 due to boundary dispute. Even in Mahabharata the conflict between the Pandavas and Kauravas led to the battle of Kurukshetra.

Conflict in minor cases leads to productive results but in the majority of cases leads to chaos and crisis. In this context, it is desirable to explain about conflict management is a concept is playing a crucial role at the corporate world.


Thomas C.Schelling is known as the Father of the Conflict Management. He played a pivotal role related to this field by authoring the Strategy of Conflict in 1960. He was a Noble laureate.

Conflict Management is the process of handling the grievances or divergent views or opinions which are left unaddressed and unredressed. It is also the process where imaginary perceptions with the realities are aligned and brought together so as to maintain harmonious and peaceful climate.

Now a day there is growing demand at the work place due to the stiff competition at the corporate world. It has become difficult for the employees to reconcile with various tensions resulting into conflicts and contentions. Having understood about conflict management it is relevant to diagnosis the factors and forces behind conflicts.


At times competition results into conflict. When people have similar interests and consider the same as superior or supreme, they will pursue up to the hilt. When two more warring groups or people pursue the same without any let up and with ruthless attitude give rise to conflicts.

When people are faced with frequent failures they get self doubt about their competencies and qualities resulting into frustrations. Such a scenario will sometimes force to any extent to fulfill resulting into conflicts.

People in general have certain aspirations and expectations in their life and if the gap between the same with that of the realities is widened conflicts do occur.

Different cultural backgrounds among the people give rise to different perceptions and if there is no synchronization and coordination, the conflicts take place.

Conflict is also due to the inability to communicate and comprehend in the given situation or scenario. Lack of proper understanding or misunderstandings create conflicts.

Ego clashes and false prestige will enable to think ill of others resulting into badmouthing and conflicts.

Lack of clarity of approach towards the issues and preconceived notions will spell disaster in human relations. Frequent arguments by a few people who want to prove their point without being kind enough. Usually people with inferiority complex resort to too many arguments to get noticed. Because such people are never taken seriously by others as they are incapable.

Inability to empathize with other is one of the causes for conflict. Unable to get into the shoes of others and unable to look at the things from others’ perspective.

When people are not habituated to work in teams then they struggle to get along with the team members as they are not good at group dynamics. Initially for some period the conflicts tend to rise.


The main issues of importance get sidetracked thereby affecting the overall performance. People will not be able to concentrate on regular activities due to the excessive thinking about conflicts. Sometimes it may lead to negative thinking and cultivate the attitude to retaliate. Rise in stress levels and may culminate in getting burning out.

However, in rare cases conflicts can create constructive and creative effects. If there is positive attitude and approach between the both sides the misunderstandings and miscommunication can be minimized. Over all the results of conflicts are counterproductive.


There are three types of resolving the conflicts viz negotiation, mediation and arbitration. In the case of negotiation, the contending and competing parties will come together with their representatives in order to find a viable situation towards the problem. Both the parties select a trustworthy and reliable person to represent the group so as to resolve the conflict. Lot of communication skills are essential to negotiate effectively.

In the case of mediation the warring groups approach a third party who is acceptable to all the affected groups to resolve the conflict. It is a very difficult and complicated process to select an effective and efficient mediator. The mediator calls the contending parties, listens to them actively and attentively and by reasoning and logic he will resolve the conflict keeping justice as supreme.

In the case of arbitration, a person or panel of judges will be appointed who is honest and aboveboard to solve the problem. Whatever the decision taken by the arbitrator should be honored by all the concerned contending parties.


• Never sweep the problems under the rug and never allow the conflict to become a crisis. Try to nip it in the bud before conflict becomes a chaos.
• Always try to empathize with the parties. Get into the shoes and look at the situation from others’ perspective. Such an attitude and approach will resolve most of the conflict.
• Dr.Stephen R.Covey highlighted about emphatic listening in his book, ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’. Patient listening will help get at the root of the conflict rapidly and help in quick resolving of the conflict.
• Never attack the party but rather attack the behaviour of the party thereby depersonalizing the conflicts and making things much easier to resolve.
• Conflict is largely a perceived phenomenon. Active listening helps in taking the things seriously and it helps in understanding the under currents and real hidden issues involved in the conflict. The contending parties often do not disclose the real intentions and the problems. Active listening paves the way for grasping, grilling and grounding the same.
• Always make the negotiation a win-win so that nobody is hurt and humiliated and all are ready to accept the solution. It is a Herculean task but the excellent negotiators are good at making it possible and feasible.
• If the conflict appears to be complicated and big then dissect and diagnose. After analyzing in part wise, then gradually assemble the same as a single entity solution.
• Neither submissive nor dominate communication helps. What helps in resolving the conflicts is the assertive communication.
• Think different and follow unconventional methods to resolve the conflict. The same tool may not be applied in all situations. Each situation calls for separate strategies. Creative techniques, innovative and imaginative approach is essential in resolving the conflicts.
• Take one conflict at a time and face it squarely. And don’t run way from the problems.
• Be sensitive to the situation and look at the conflict from many angles and perspectives for arriving at best solution.


As long as the man is there the conflict is bound to erupt. There are always differences of opinions, views, perceptions, attitudes, aptitudes and approaches. What is essential is the prevention of conflicts by an effective and efficient communication. If the conflicts are not averted it would result into crisis. To sum it up, let us look at the commonalities amongst the people rather than looking at the differences. The common thread running across the people would make the human life peaceful, pleasant and memorable.



“To the world, you may just be somebody. But to somebody, you may just might be the world”


The Great Alexander was the mentee of Aristotle. Aristotle was the mentee of Plato. And Plato was the mentee of Socrates. The kind of relation all these great personalities had between them is known as mentee and mentor and the process of the mentor who is an expert in his domain equipping certain skills and abilities to his mentee who is not an expert in the same domain is known as mentoring. The concept of mentoring is age old. If anyone acquired fame in his life there is always someone who has laid a ladder for the success.


Mentoring is the process of helping to realize the hidden potential or discover the hidden talents with in a person. It is a link between the mentor and mentee with the former getting sense of satisfaction and achievement and the latter learning and growing either personally, professionally or socially.

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction”, John Crosby quoted. In brief, mentoring can be defined as the relation between an experienced individual and an inexperienced individual where the former provides the training and helps in grooming the latter.

Eric Parsloe of the Oxford School of Coaching and Mentoring defined the purpose of mentoring as “To support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximize their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance, and become the person they want to be”.

The origin of mentor came from Odyssey where Mentor was the close friend of Odysseus as well as the teacher for Telemakos who was the son of Odysseus. When Odysseus went on a long tour he handed over the responsibility of his son, Telemakos to his friend Mentor who took the guardianship. Mentor not only guarded the friend’s son but also he guided, advised and counseled until Odysseus returned. Mentor trained and groomed Telemakos in all spheres.


Mentoring helps people to get tuned, trained and adjusted in an institution immediately. It helps in enhancing the individual skills of mentor as well as mentee. It enhances the production, productivity and performance of an organization by minimizing any communication gaps and differences amongst the employees. Every individual looks for support and guidance when he enters any institution. He looks for an experienced, trustworthy and reliable person for guidance. Mentoring helps to break the initial hiccups and barriers raises confidence and comfort levels.


“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give”, Winston Churchill.

The primary role of a mentor is to encourage and motivate the mentee or protégé. He should provide inspiration and direction. He should be accessible and approachable. He must be able to stand out from the crowd. The mentee must accept him like his role model. He should be an excellent listener and must be in a position to maintain confidentiality about his mentee. He must be a man of principles. He must be specialized in his field. He should have attained very good education, experience and expertise. In brief, he should be like a guide, philosopher, counselor, psychologist, teacher, trainer, leader, adviser, motivator etc.,


“The ripest peach is highest on the tree”.

He must have lot of patience and perseverance. He must have passion to learn and grow. He should have great regard and respect towards his mentor. He must be ambitious and willing to experiment new things. He should take initiative and should be proactive in his approach and attitude. Whenever the mentor is busy with his schedules the mentee must not give up and preserve till the end and up to the hilt. Every mentee must realize his hidden potential and should try to touch his upper limits. It is aptly said, “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp”. He must be in a position to accept criticism gracefully. He should not have any false ego.


Mentoring helps both the mentor and mentee in many ways. It helps in discovering and delivering the hidden talents. It unlocks the inner energy lying dormant. It converts an ordinary person into an extraordinary person. There is a great sense of satisfaction and achievement for the mentor that he contributed something for the society thereby leaving a mark behind. For the mentee there is personal growth and fulfillment. He can advance his career with the tools and techniques. He will be confident in taking up the reins of leadership wherever he goes without any hiccups. It is aptly said, “If a drop of water falls in a lake there is no identity. But if it falls on a leaf of lotus it shines like a pearl. So choose the best place where you can shine”. Therefore, choosing the right mentor is the sine quo non for any mentee.


The mentor must treat his mentee professionally as well as personally. If it is possible for him to mentor then only he should proceed and he should not make false commitments and promises. Right from the day one to the day last he should continuously provide guidance, evaluate the performance and provide impartial feedback for correction and improvement. He should focus on the areas of improvement and advise how the mentee can perform better.

The mentor should set goals so that they provide direction for the mentee. There must be specific goals so as to avoid beating around the bush. There must be fixed time frame to achieve the set specific goals. The goals must not only be reachable but also achievable.

The mentor should never criticize the mentee personally. However, he can criticize the behavior for correction and for improvement. He should know how to appreciate and when to appreciate genuinely. Appreciation for the sake of appreciation will prove to be counter productive. The appreciation should be specific to the situation and should be objective.

The mentor must literally allow the mentee to see inside the mind of the mentor. He must communicate at ease and must empathize with his mentee.

The mentor must know the pulse of the people and should be an expert in human psychology. He should build trust as trust begets trust. The mentee always prefers to have a trustworthy and reliable mentor.

The mentor should have an attitude to go extra mile. He must be willing to work extra hours out of the way to please and fulfill the aspirations and expectations of the mentee. He should have an attitude to work round the clock.

The mentor must have philanthropic bent of mind to serve the society so as to bring dramatic and drastic changes in the people and in the society as a whole. The mentee should develop the attitude that his mentor is everything for him. Of course, it does not happen in overnight. It requires sustained confidence building measures to create such a situation.

The mentor should partner for progress. He should make his mentee independent in all areas so that mentee can handle everything of his own. There is a Chinese proverb, ‘Don’t give a fish. Instead teach a person how to fish’. Any mentoring must equip mentee with all skills and abilities so that mentee can have mettle and he can elevate himself to the status of mentor to produce more mentee.

The relationship between a mentor and a mentee is that of a relation between a Research guide and a Research scholar during any PhD work. There should be mutual trust and respect between the both.

Mentoring is not a spoon feeding. It is a process of imparting specialized tools and techniques from an expert person to an inexpert person. Mentor is not expected to solve all the problems and he is not expected to answer all the questions of mentee. It should be appreciated that the process of mentoring is to help groom the mentee to a specific domain or area of study. In a nut shell, mentor just fine-tunes the mentee.

It is desirable to conduct SWOT (Acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) Analysis for both the mentor and the mentee so as to make the mentoring process effective and efficient. Such an exercise would bring best results for the both mentor and mentee.

The relation between the mentor and mentee should not be treated like an affair rather it should be like a marriage with bonding to bring out synergy between both the mentor and mentee.

During the process of mentoring the mentor must encourage the mentee by calling ‘You can do it’, ‘I believe in you’, ‘I like your speech’, ‘You are great’, ‘You are unique’, ‘I am learning certain things from you’, ‘As a mentor I have discovered my own strengths’, ‘Your smile is magical’ etc. All these things are to be applied according to the strengths of each mentee.

In order to ensure the survival and success of mentoring relation both mentor and mentee must be highly dedicated, motivated and committed to the cause.


The corporate are realizing the need for mentoring due to the growing attrition levels. The organizations are conducting many training activities so that the employees are trained and groomed regularly. There is also provision for one to one mentoring and group mentoring in few companies. Mentoring helps to bridge the gap between superiors and subordinates so that the grievances or the problems can be handled. It helps the organizations to check attrition, and also enhances better relations and productivity. The companies are likely to spend money related to mentoring. As a result, there is huge scope towards this field.


“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us. What we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal”, Albert Pine.

Every individual must put his earnest efforts to contribute his best for the society. What is the use of keeping the entire knowledge with us. In fact, knowledge grows when shared. Let us not wait for somebody to do these activities rather let every person take initiative to pass on the wealth of knowledge from one generation to another. Mother Theresa aptly said, “Don’t wait for leaders. Do it alone, person to person”. Let us leave the world better than what we found it.